Sprint quietly shut down its Nextel network over the weekend, putting an end to its eight year investment in the push-to-talk service. According to the Wall Street Journal, Sprint started shutting down the service with the release of a software patch that disabled calls on the network. A second patch turned off the radios on the 20,000 remaining Nextel towers.
Sprint had 1.3 million customers on its Nextel service back in March 2013 and encouraged these customers to switch to Q-Chat, the company’s CDMA push-to-talk service. Sprint won’t divulge its recent subscriber tally, but said the number of remaining Nextel subscribers was “very, very small.” Now that Sprint has Nextel behind it, the company plans to repurpose those network resources to help build out its growing LTE network.